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Hong Kong Market ekes out gains on trade hopes

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The Hong Kong stocks closed marginally higher in volatile trade on Thursday, 10 October 2019, as optimism built through the day that something positive will come out of the trade talks in Washington that begin tonight. At closing bell, the benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.1%, or 25.12 points, to 25,707.93. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.48%, or 49.16 points, to 10,218.49.

Investor sentiment got a boost after reports that China remained open to agreeing to a partial trade deal with the United States and offering to increase its annual purchases of US agricultural products. The White House is weighing a currency pact with China as part of a partial deal that could see a planned tariff hike next week being suspended and part of what it regards as a first-phase agreement with Beijing. US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there was a very good chance that the United States and China will reach a trade agreement, but added that "in my opinion China wants to make a deal more than I do".

The United States will soon issue licenses for some of its firms to supply non-sensitive goods to banned Chinese telecoms firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the New York Times said on Wednesday.

Market participants remained focused on the resumption of trade talks in Washington D. C. between the U. S. and China with import tariffs set for $250 billion worth of Chinese goods at a rate of 30% from 25% on 15 October 2019. A 15% tariff on an additional $160 billion worth of Chinese imports is also expected to kick in on 15 December 2019. Top-level officials from the world's two largest economies are set to meet in Washington on Thursday and Friday after deputy-level talks earlier this week. The world's two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of one another's goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

Blue chips were mixed. HSBC (00005) edged up 0.2% to HK$57.45. HKEX (00388) rose 1.1% to HK$232. Tencent (00700) nudged up 0.2% to HK$318.8.

China Mobile (00941) inched up 0.2% to HK$65.2. AIA (01299) softened 1.1% to HK$71.7. Link REIT (00823) slid 3% to HK$80.5, becoming the best blue-chip loser, after its CEO Hongchoy Kwok Lung disposed of 500,000 shares.

Smartphone component suppliers rose across on hopes of a narrow short-term trade deal. AAC Technologies (02018) soared 6.3% to HK$44.6 becoming the best blue-chip gainer. Sunny Optical (02382) shot up 4.3% to HK$117.4. Q Technology (01478) surged 7.4% to HK$9.15. BYD Electronic (00285) added 2.5% to HK$11.52. FIT Hon Teng (06088) put on 1.6% to HK$3.16. Tongda Group (00698) rose 3.6% to HK$0.58. Truly International (00732) advanced 1.9% to HK$1.06.

Sanitary napkin and diaper maker Hengan International (1044 HK) closed ahead 3.6% at HK$50.95. J. P. Morgan upgraded it to neutral from underweight on Wednesday, with a price target of HK$49.

China Mengniu Dairy (2319 HK) finished up 2.3% at HK$31.05, following its announcement it is cutting commercial ties with the NBA over the controversy set off by a team manager's tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 10 2019. 19:13 IST